This blog is for rambling about, well, everything that interests me. Gardening. The Farm. Perfume. Fashion. Photography. Fried chicken. Books. Clutter. Hoarding. Sewing. Writing. Murder Mysteries. Bacon. TV. Movies. Restaurants. Cooking. Oh, and don't forget the cat pictures.
This was lovely today, but a little over-sweet. I think that it's not a late summer scent.
These are the days when I wonder if this daily blogging thing is an altogether good idea. I wait for clever ideas, and they dance determinedly out of reach.
So, hey, I'll ramble about ideas for ideas.
Sometimes I go to Wikimedia Commons and click the Random File button a few times. Today, I learned that there's an entire category called "details of typewriters". Aren't those keys up there lovely? They remind me of a film that we saw at the Ashland Independent Film Festival a year or three ago, called "Manufactured Landscapes" - except that the typewriter keys are lovely and happy, and the landscapes in the film were often lovely, but often horrifying at the very same time.
Sometimes I go look at other people's blogs. Today there was a lovely post on Scent Self about Joan Holloway from Mad Men. And one from Notes from Josephine about the puzzling phenomenon of those Tauer perfumes that absolutely everyone loves. Except, apparently, Josephine and, by the way, me. But even if I'm inspired by someone's post, stealing that idea for my own blog seems Wrong. So I finish up entertained but no closer to my own post.
Sometimes I ramble about a recent discovery. For example, I've always loved sunflower seeds; I crack and eat them like a crazed squirrel. I recently learned that they're rich in tryptophan - as are milk, chicken, turkey, peanut butter, and other foods that I eat, or have eaten, with gluttonous abandon. I wondered about potatoes, and I read that they help a desperate brain absorb tryptophan. So it appears that I've spent a lifetime snacking for serotonin - the stuff that trytophan turns into.
And eventually I tell myself to post, already. That time has come.
I've noticed that I'm doing that backdating thing more and more, so that the scent of the day is really the scent of yesterday. I'm not sure if I like that. But it's vitally important to keep the days correct for scientific accuracy, right? Right. OK, maybe.
But anyway, I wore Fendi Theorema on Thursday and Friday and loved it so much that if Scentless Saturday weren't Scentless, I'd probably wear it again.
My fragrance cravings have been changing for several days. Bottles that were hidden behind the green- or tea-focused summer scents have been coming out, and some of those summer scents have lost their appeal. This makes me think about the day length thing again. Days are getting shorter now, and I wonder if that's why my taste preferences are very different from my preferences in late June, when it was just as hot as it is now.
In mid-July, A La Nuit was perfect - I wanted more more more. Today, it was still pleasant, but just barely pleasant - it was on the edge between "Mmmm, jasmine immersion..." and "Help! I'm drowning!"
And in June, I couldn't imagine wearing Cadjmere as a comfort scent, and I wore Tubereuse Couture instead. But yesterday, Cadjmere was perfect, and I couldn't imagine wearing Tubereuse Couture at all, much less perceiving it as a comfort scent. I loved Cuir de Lancome in February, and loved it again on Sunday. I suspect that the thought of wearing it in June or early July would have been horrifying.
And was Osmanthe Yunnan unexciting recently because I missed the window of time when it was hot and days were growing longer? Would it have been magnificent in early June?
So the theory is that my scent preferences are determined by hot or cold weather in combination with the current day length trend - and that the day length may be the greater factor. So "hot" or "cold" give way to more complicated designations like "hot waning", for hot weather when the day length is shortening, like now, or "cold waxing", for cold weather when the days are getting longer, like February or March.
Did I mention that I'm a geek? Can you tell that I'm thinking of making charts?
I also wonder about the definition of day length. Is it strictly the number of hours of daylight, as if I were an onion or a flower bulb, or is it about the earliest sunrise or the latest sunset? If I got blackout curtains in the bedroom so that sunrise became irrelevant for another couple of months, would my fragrance taste suddenly shift?
I'm starting to crave fragrance on Scentless Saturday. I was delighted to smell traces of White Jasmine & Mint bath oil when I walked into the bathroom. I eagerly snuffled the Mandarin Mint Shampoo Moon that I just bought. (I finally used up the last one.) I wish I'd bought a fresh lemon at the grocery, because I could sniff it now.
While wearing this, I kept imagining a scenario where I met Jean-Claude Ellena (admittedly, not a likely eventuality) and enthused, "Brin de Reglisse is one of my favorite bug-killing scents!" I suspect that would fail to have the complimentary result intended.
However, to my surprise, it's true. I strongly dislike lavender, but I quite like Brin de Reglisse. I do love licorice; that's probably the key.
That seems to be all that I have to say about this scent this time, but I'll offer the Review Roundup anyway.
It's interesting to see how quickly a scent can develop new associations. I'd been using ElizabethW Rose bath oil and "Cranky Baby" (really, California Baby Overtired & Cranky) bubble bath as my combined bath scent for a long time, so that combined scent developed an association of leisure and relaxation, over a period of at least two years. And I think that it took at least a few months for it to develop the initial association.
But when I ran out of the Rose, I decided that I'd better start going through some of my other bath potions. So for only five or ten baths, it's been Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint bath oil and Cranky Baby. And that combined scent has already developed a relaxation vibe that seems as strong as the one that Cranky Baby/ElizabethW spent so long earning. I'm guessing that the Cranky Baby half of the association was enough to give full credentials to the White Jasmine & Mint in such a short time.
And now the White Jasmine & Mint perfume, which is substantially different from the bath oil, also seems to have a new relaxation association.
Interesting. Anyway, I enjoyed it. And I wonder if there's any chance of California Baby coming out with a Cranky Baby perfume? I want all the comfort scents I can get.
I've said before that in winter, Osmanthe Yunnan is no more than a sugary floral. One summer, probably last summer, it was lovely. Fabulous. I was anticipating the return of that reaction when I wore it today, but today it was no more than pretty. Sweet and pink and tea, no more. But I'll try it again soon, in the hope that today I'm mistaken.
Remember my grumbling about wanting to talk about blogging, without getting bogged down in talking about SEO or payments per adsense click or other such nonsense?
Well, there's a group on BlogCatalog called Real Bloggers United that seems to have essentially the same goal. They have an associated blog, and solicit posts from members each month. I submitted a post on the August theme of "holiday".
Writing a post for Another Blog was an interesting experience. I hadn't fully realized how much I depend on the context associated with my blog - that is, the ability to link to my own posts, and the fact that you folks know that I'm a crazy person who likes the smell of gasoline and mothballs in my perfume, and the whole fried chicken thing. And bacon. (In fact, I'm growing a post on bacon right now.) Writing a post without that context to draw from was odd. It's probably a good exercise for me as a writer, but it's odd all the same.
And now that that post is written, I find that now my brain is including that post in the soupy mental mishmash of things to draw from in writing possible future posts. So, I want to point to it.
Also, if any of you wanted to wander over to that group to talk blogging, I'd be delighted. While the Will To Discuss is there, the forum hasn't yet reached the critical mass needed for regular discussion, and it would be nice if it did.
The Scarecrow: Parfumerie Generale Bois Blond on one of its good days.
Dorothy: ElizabethW Rose in Kansas, Chanel Cristalle after going through the Wash And Brush Up Co. The Tin Woodman: Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. (I originally chose Fou d'Absinthe, but changed my mind; he needs this heartfelt fragrance with the gasoline note.) The Cowardly Lion: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque in the forest, Lancome Mille et Une Roses after the Wash And Brush Up Co. The Great And Powerful Wizard Of Oz: Serge Lutens Chergui.
Auntie Em: Jean Desprez Bal A Versailles, but only because Uncle Henry gave it to her for Christmas. She'd never dream of wasting money on perfume for herself. Glinda The Good Witch Of The South: Parfumerie Generale Jardin de Kerylos, but only when her travel-bubble is colored pink.
Sometimes I look at my blog, with its high percentage of itty bitty or goofy posts, and I'm sad. I compare it with other people's blogs, with their long and reliably high quality posts at dignified intervals, and I think that I really should make the effort to do this thing right.
Then I get over it and post a cat picture.
I realized today that my blog, with its erratic shifts in quality, is entirely consistent with one of my most firmly held philosophies. It's a philosophy that can be expressed many different ways. "Good enough is good enough." "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." But it all comes down to: Perfectionism Is Bad.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying that those people with the reliably high quality blogs are perfectionists. They're simply not me. They're capable of consistently producing creative work at a high level of quality. If they're also producing lower quality work, they're doing so behind the scenes, and they're accurately distinguishing the good from the bad before their stuff goes public.
And that's not me. I can produce and post lots of "good enough" stuff, with an occasional moderately fine thing in there. I cannot post only "moderately fine", because if I required that of myself, I'd post nothing at all. And I'm firmly convinced that it's better to do something mediocre, then to wait for perfection.
And "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly" isn't just about blogging. I know a perfectionist, and I've seen the way that that perfectionism deprives her of much of the joy of a normal life. The determination to only read, or watch, or hear, what's "uplifting" or "educational" means cutting herself off from most of popular culture, and as a result losing many opportunities to connect with other people. The refusal to take on new pursuits without a guarantee of perfect execution means that she simply doesn't take them on, and in fact she drops old pursuits, I suspect out of fear that perfection can't be maintained. As the requirement for perfection grows stronger and stronger, the world grows smaller and smaller.
An active, joyful, wholehearted mediocrity is a very fine thing. So I'm going to keep posting cat pictures. And maybe I'll branch out into puppies and ducks.
Friday night is two full days away from going back to work. That makes it the most relaxing time of the week for me - at least, as long as I've gotten the loose ends of the work week properly tied up and put away on Friday afternoon.
When I do get the job packed away at a decent hour, Friday night is the one part of the week when I don't feel bound by time - and I'm a leisure time miser, always begrudging the minutes that are slipping away. I can stay up until dawn, without feeling that I've cheated myself out of the next morning. I can go to bed early, without feeling that I've cheated myself of the evening. I can spend three hours in a bubble bath. I can cook, watch TV, read blogs - or, not infrequently, all three at once. My plate is full of time, so I don't worry about sensibly doling out the bites.
I'm going to go put Die Hard on the TV, and then fall asleep on the couch while it's playing.
I said that I was going to wear this fragrance more often, to renew my fondness for it. So I started today, even though I classify it as a winter perfume.
And it works pretty nicely in the summer. New-shoe leather and the very faintest traces of other things. It's supposed to contain orange blossom and myrrh, but I dislike both of those, and still rather like this.
Last time I wore this, I didn't like it. This was dismaying, because I'd just bought a bottle.
My dislike was based on dryness and powder. From past experience I know that the cure for that is often what I call "nose distance" - spraying the perfume in places where it has to travel at least several inches to get to my nose. These days, that means the back of my neck and my stomach.
So that's what I did today. It worked. There's just enough powder to give me that black-and-white-photo classic-scent feeling, but not enough to annoy me. Today it's lovely.